Notes from Project Dawn – Into the Valley of Death

The day that Midnight Hollow crumbled was an average one. The sun set red. The night sky rolled in. And Death showed up to a birthday party.

It made sense, after all; how else was he supposed to claim that unfortunate woman who had somehow passed on from old age in the swimming pool? But no one expected him to stay.

And certainly, no one would have ever dreamed that Ramona Mallon would draw him into her web.

It all started with the offer of a place to stay. Turns out that the man under the robes isn’t a demon without a face, but a handsome young man with ever-changing eyes. And of course, Ramona Mallon was curious. An unconventional scientist, yes, but a scientist all the same, and the child of Death itself was definitely something worth studying.

He was no better or worse than any of the others she’d had, and almost to her disappointment, was polite, but not passionate.

He stood and watched her for a while, then disappeared into the ether. It was like he had never been there at all, with no trace of his presence aside from a set of rumpled sheets and the faint scent of rain.

Ramona was almost convinced she’d imagined the entire thing, until the all too familiar symptoms started up again, the nausea creeping up like a cold hand running down her spine.

They varied sometimes – she was left totally bedbound, or not sick at all, sometimes craving the most disgusting food imaginable, sometimes barely able to keep down bread. But this one barely seemed to be growing, five months in.

That was, at least, until the deaths started.

Midnight Hollow wasn’t exactly the cheeriest of places. Everywhere was draped in black, up to and including the clouds. The sky was always the colour of blood at sunset, and they had more graveyards than they did grocery stores. Death wasn’t an uncommon visitor to the town, but this was something else entirely. And it seemed to be following Ramona.

At first it was just some of the elderly, quietly shuffling off while no one paid attention.

Witnessing deaths in town was pretty unlucky, but a drowning at the local pool? A house fire night next door? And the handyman, well… that was just unfortunate.

Weirdly, she began recovering after that. Before, the baby was so small, they couldn’t even find it on the ultrasound. There had been fears of a phantom pregnancy – a true supernatural phenomenon – but after the deaths, it was almost growing overnight. First no more than a blip, then four little heartbeats. Almost like they were… feeding.

But, no matter. Ramona had resolved to carry on as normal – she had far too many sets of twins to count anyway, and four at once couldn’t be much more difficult, with the older kids to help out. The trouble was, not everyone in town was so supportive.

Demotions, protests, refusal of entry into shops. Whispers in the street, her elder children being shunned from school. As soon as Felix was old enough, he fled the town alone, leaving his mother and siblings to deal with the fallout.

Midnight Hollow’s burning grudge was a thing to be reckoned with. For all its macabre ways, they protected their own. And Ramon Mallon, with flame bright here and a stunning smile, was not one of them.

So she found herself left with no choice, but to call Sunrise Inc.

They were firm, and probably not in the least bit fair.

‘We’re a business, not a charity. This is an emergency situation; we can’t save everyone. You take what you have, then leave, understand? We’re looking out for the future of the experiment. Sacrifices have to be made.’

And with that, Ramona was forced to agree.

It was deemed an emergency situation, a necessary evacuation that started with a cover story and ended with a bang. It was nothing too surprising; attacks had been happening for weeks, and a deliberate arson attempt definitely wouldn’t be anything new. People were starting to get scared and looking for a scapegoat; the target, therefore, was obvious.

So she slipped away, in the early hours of the morning, whilst the flames engulfed the wreckage of the life she’d left behind.

The new clinic was one in Sunset Valley; quiet, discreet, and state of the art medical tech that most places could only dream of. Some smartass had codenamed the babies “The Four Horseman,” and the rumour had spread before Ramona could make it stop. Test after test, then extensive bedrest, because when you’re the incubator for the children of Death, there’s no expense spared.

Ramona herself, for the most part, was confined to bed rest, a dull, slow punishment where she had nothing to do but wait, under strict supervision.

‘Mum, can’t we just go home? You can have the kids there, that’s what you did with the rest of us.’
‘Soon. It won’t be long, okay? Sunrise’ll give us a place to say, and we can carry on, as normal. Just like before, but somewhere better.’

Less than a week later, the labour began’ earlier than usual, painful and frightening; nothing she wasn’t used to, apart from life and death tangled in a bloody paradox.

So then of course, it was really no surprise that it ended the way it did.

The children were perfect; four girls, born minutes after the other. No one was sure quite what had happened; the doctors were murmuring about a quadruplet birth being too much for the mother to handle, others whispering about curses. Death was never supposed to produce life, so he needed something fair in return.

But nonetheless, they were loved in return. Family was family, no matter who the parents were.

Unfortunately, there were some who would disagree.

 ‘B – but they’re my sisters, I can’t just give them to you to be lab rats! They’re babies.’

‘Your mother signed a contract – ‘

never signed any contract – ‘

‘You have no idea, do you? You just see this as pointless cruelty – these children could prove everything! Years of study, years of experimentation, and you just want to waste their potential?!’

‘You’re pathetic. I would have expected better from you.’

‘And I think my mother would have expected a bit of common human decency – ‘

‘Your mother was going to hand them over anyway. She knew what was at stake.’

Garth stayed silent throughout the exchange, waiting, planning, counting on an opportune moment to whisper his plans when his twin was alone.

And in the dead of night, the desperate, half thought out plan, borne of love, came to fruition.

Hooray, reboot time! As you can probably tell, these chapters take longer to produce since it’s now going to be story based, and there’s a lot of staging and such. I’m working on my novel right now and don’t want to prioritise one or the other, so I’m aiming for two chapters a month, week on/week off.

It’s still a 100 Baby Challenge, but it may use the DITFT outline; I’m not too sure. But if you like what you see or have any feedback, please leave a comment.

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Notes From Project Dawn, Chapter 13 – Where the Sims are Undead and Rainbows Glitch Through Mountains

So I’m back! I’m well aware it’s been a stupidly long time, and I apologise. NfPD will be finished, I promise you that. Also, I really, really want to do a more story based legacy, a Differences in the Family Tree one, as well as telling the stories of NPCs ala Strangetown, Here We Come, which is fantastic and an absolute must read. I’ve been playing the Ursine’s lately, and it was so interesting, it felt like a shame not to share it. Let me know if you guys want to read them; I might start earlier than planned if there’s enough interest.

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Well at least there’s good news somewhere!

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According to my notes, this is the sixteenth. Good thing I found some more maternity clothes.

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It’s a miracle; everything is clean for once.

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Wow, look at all those beautiful pixels. Come to think of it, why aren’t there any TV dinners any more? They should be a staple food for these kids.

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I’m not sure who this is, so assume it’s an aged paparazzi with nothing better to do.

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Oh, so now the aliens appear. Where were they when I was trying to knock Harvey up back in Gen 8? Damn game.

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That’s no good, Ramona. You’ll just end up kidnapped and used as a test subject, like Bella Goth.

Ramona: ‘No different to now, really.’

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Oh my God, Ilse’s face. Poor baby.

Harper: ‘I don’t know who did this to you, but I will kill them. Just say the word.’

Bonehilda: ‘Ditto.’

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Harper: ‘I really hope you’re so angry just because you’ve got triplets in there. And not because the house is a mess.’

That or she’s somehow equated anger to skilling.

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Paparazzi: ‘This could be sold for millions; my first big break! CHILD DOES HOMEWORK!’

Ilse: ‘I get enough of this at home, thanks.’

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Oh God. Please don’t tell me that’s Darron.

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I have a horrible feeling that it is.

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Florence: ‘Yeah, well, if that bitch comes after my husband, I’ll fight her. Hat and all.’

I don’t doubt you.

Ramona: ‘Oh hey, time for a quick diversion tactic.’

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Ramona: ‘Oh come on, look at him! Can you blame me?’

Florence: ‘Dammit, Mother, yes I can. Get out of here!’

Darron: ‘Don’t glare at me, I wasn’t going to do anything!’

Florence: ‘You let her in here, that was enough!’

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Florence: ‘God, I think I’m going to throw up. My mother and my husband…’

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Florence: ‘Sod this. I’m done for today.’

Darron: ‘Don’t worry, babe. We have a nicer house, no way am I living in that hideous pink thing.’

So there may be hope yet.

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Ramona: ‘…I don’t think I’m going to make it to the hospital; this one’s coming quickly, and there aren’t any cabs around. Well, it’ll do. Nice and quiet, roomy too…’

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Ramona: ‘On the other hand, they actually have science at the hospital. My one true love…all those sparkling clean lab beakers and sterile equipment…’

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Ramona: ‘Yeah, I’m out.’

That painting is judging you so hard right now.

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Ramona: ‘La di da da da…’

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Ramona: ‘No need to rush…’

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Ramona: ‘Just going for a nice drive to the hospital, in the late stages of labour, after trying it on with my daughter’s husband…’

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At least she’s well co-ordinated.

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Ramona: ‘I really should get this umbrella fixed – need to put it somewhere it won’t drip, as well.’

So are you just forgetting about the baby, or…?

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Oh, there we go.

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It’s a boy!

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And no, this isn’t a mistakenly grabbed photo of Angel.

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He’s such a little clone. Our 16th is Ezra Mallon, who is a genius that loves outdoors, and favourites of yellow/country music/cobbler.

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In other news, Kay has lost it. Must be the haircut, I really need some CC hair.

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She’s awfully cute, though.

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Poor Ilse. With all the pale lighting in Moonlight Hollow, she just blends in.

Ilse: ‘Hey! Mermaid, not ghost. Get it right.’

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Kay takes after me already; eyesight so bad, she needs glasses from three feet away.

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Must be Midnight Hollow, where all the Sims look undead and rainbows glitch through mountains.

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Surprisingly, a lot of the kids like fishing, so I packed them off with Ilse for some money making sibling bonding. She looks like such a proud big sister.

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December: ‘So…you going to read me a story?’

That isn’t your bed.

December: ‘Or my house.’

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Nice try, Harper, but you’re a little young for that.

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Ramona: ‘What day is it? What year? What town are we in?’

Sleep deprivation can do that to a girl. And excessive childbirth, I guess.

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Gail: ‘And here’s my rebellious phase. Go me; Mum’s going to flip.’

Actually, I quite like it. It suits you.

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Lighting mod~! Ilse fits into Midnight Hollow perfectly.

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Gail is basically a mother to her little sisters, and she does a damn sight better job of it than Ramona, even if January’s still wearing her hat. At least it’s the right bed.

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See? She’s such a bad mother, she can’t even provide a ceiling for her kids.

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Gail: ‘Why do you think Jan’s wearing the hat? She’s a smart kid. Sweet girl: just wish Mum was around to see it.’

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Kay could probably use her attention, too. She’s more than a bit loopy.

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The annual book club and a kid trying to strangle herself. Welcome to Midnight Hollow.

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Cody: ‘So get this: I’ve created a rocket ship, that’ll get us to the moon. We can harvest it for space rocks and minerals and…’

Mikey: ‘Didn’t we pass the tent he was living in on a walk the other day, Gail?’

Gail: ‘Yes. Yes we did.’

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So basically: gorgeous lighting shots, and Cody’s still a loser.

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But at least I have a decent photo of him this time.

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Upon pondering, I can only conclude this must be Florence’s son? I have no idea what his name is, though.

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And so January ages up alone. In the bathroom. Classy.

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Continuing the family tradition of glitching in an ugly outfit.

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Her new one, on the other hand, is much prettier.

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Still yellow eyes, but not a clone! Success!

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Meanwhile, in Sunset Valley…

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Two red-haired twins, raising their alien half sister, while their mother tries to become a criminal mastermind. Such is the woes of the Ursine family, whose story I really hope I can tell.

That’s all for now; please leave a comment after the tone.

~ Viki.

Notes From Project Dawn, Chapter 8- A Pink Monstrosity

Welcome back!

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Bailey: “Why is there a dead child in our house?”

Quite honestly, I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner.

Ramona: “Both of you, stop it. We’re in a different neighbourhood now, you need to be more open minded. This is one of our neighbours.”

Bailey: “…Who just walked through our table.”

And mysteriously made the rings on the hob all flat and 2D. Spooky.

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Ghost Girl: “I only came for the TV, but yours looks like it was ripped straight out of the 90s. No thanks. I’m gonna go sneak into the cinema.”

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If you didn’t notice before, the gem spawners are working. That’s the only reason they’re eating.

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Catrin: “Is that a new feature? Death by soap?”

No, but I’m a little worried. No Handiness skill and all that water…we actually need you lot to survive the challenge, you know.

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This really is a miracle. Ellery’s in the right bed. I cannot tell you how much I hate the bedtime story option. 

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Ramona, you can actually afford a bed. Your camping days are over. I hope.

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Ramona: “Oh, hey, sweetheart, nice to see you too-“

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Ramona: “Wait, what?”

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Ramona: “This isn’t fun.” ):

I figured I’d let her be old for a while, since there’s no point wasting time as a YA when there’s no more room for kids right now.

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So in the meantime, she can seduce Robby. While her daughter sleeps two feet away.

Delphine: “Maybe he’s rich…if she marries him, he could build us a bedroom…”

Keep dreaming.

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Robby: “I don’t understand the fitness freaks in this town. Just one zombie chasing them on the full mood, and they’re sprinting across town. Idiots, I tell you.”

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Ramona: “That’s interesting…you ever thought about witch hunting as a form of exercise. Burns lots of calories!”

“Enthuse about witch hunts,” is rarely an appropriate topic of conversation, Ramona. Especially not in Midnight Hollow, of all places.

Ramona: “I’m just trying to save them from their delusions. Everyone knows witches aren’t real.”

You lived in Strangetown, which was famous for its aliens. What about those?

Ramona: “Face paint. And contacts.”

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You’ll go travelling eventually. You know, when you actually have money.

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On a brighter note, this guy looks interesting.

Ramona: “Just ignore the bug infestation. That’s really getting to be a problem lately…”

Bailey: “Not if it’s keeping the house heated, it isn’t.”

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Bailey: “What was so important you dragged me outside at 7 am to talk?”

Ellery: “I go to school with two ghosts and a werewolf. Can you make me a pair of faerie wings?”

At least someone’s taking the move well.

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This is literally all the kids have been doing, and it’s helping the monetary situation a lot. Also this is an adorable photo.

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Also, Nuthatch as this bird is apparently called, seems to have set up permanent residence here. I wonder if we can actually bring him inside.

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Oh God. Tyron #2 is back, even here.

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Pony: “Hey, guys. Just checking out the crazy spawners you guys are supposed to have around here.”

Ellery: “Oh, thanks, that’s nice.”

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Other Two: “Hey, wait for us! Don’t hog all the wild flowers for yourself!”

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Delphine: “So if I beg, will you let me keep you and brush your mane and plait ribbons into it…”

Run, horse, as fast as you can.

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Birthdays!

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So Florence got Neurotic, which is probably a side effect of Ramona’s parenting style- “The best I can, but someone’s going to fall through the cracks.”

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Cody turned out a little better. He rolled Equestrian.

Cody: “Haha, I’m more well adjusted than you!”

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Thanks to the deluge of gems, the girls actually have a room now! It’s pretty sparse looking, but 20k isn’t a lot.

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You know a town is dead literally and figuratively when the allotment is the most popular hangout spot. That little house is just a box with a table and chair in it, by the way. God knows why.

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Ramona: “You know, when I was young and pretty, I always wanted to be an astronaut.”

Liar. You wanted to have a fancy office job and mess about with computers all day.

Ramona: “Sssh, I think he’s impressed.”

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Ramona: “I told you so!”

Well at least she’s being productive.

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Wow, that’s harsh. She’s only ten, she has no fashion sense yet.

Catrin: “I’ve just realised how long the boys have had a room when we haven’t.”

Don’t kill me! In my defence, we had more boys than girls at one point.

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Map view was looking exceptionally pretty today, even with the random splodges that are puddles littered about everywhere,

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Ramona: “I guess we could use another lamp? Or maybe a rug…”

Yeah, she’s been in the house too long.

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A massive pile of laundry, siblings in pyjamas, and a birthday. Sounds about right.

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Shut up, Cody. She looks better than you do.

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Quite pleased with the outfit. She rolled Schmoozer as her fourth trait. Plus her hair took forever to find and redownload…

Ellery: “Trust me, I’m grateful.”

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Wow, I’m impressed. In the right beds, twice in one chapter. This is a miracle.

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I knew it wouldn’t last. Cody’s officially the unfavourite from now on.

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This lighting mod is a godsend. I put in on my Mods page, go and download it for Midnight Hollow. The skies are so much prettier and you can actually see now!

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Oh yeah, there was enough money to build a bathroom on the second floor, in all its pink glory.

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Bus Driver: “That’s okay, take as long as you like. It’s not as if anyone’s waiting or anything.”

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God, the house is a monstrosity. A pink monstrosity.

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I’m still using leftover gifts for decorations because we can’t afford real ones. Or decent shoes, thanks for that, Ellery.

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I don’t know where she got the car from. It’s probably Justin’s.

Ramona: “Can I paint this pink too? It doesn’t match, otherwise.”

Go wild.

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Ramona: “So where is this guy? And why am I meeting him in a deserted park in the middle of the pouring rain?”

See, this is why you don’t agree to dates over the phone.

I’ll leave it here for now- if anyone could leave a comment, I’d appreciate it!

~ Viki.

Notes From Project Dawn, Chapter 7- Those Pyjamas Are a Work of Art

So I lied. Looks like there is time for a Mallon post after all!

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We start this chapter off in the most predictable way possible: birthdays.

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Catrin: “Does this mean I get a new bed? You know, something nicer than the lumpy, uncomfortable thing I’ve been sleeping on since I turned five?”

Maybe when I finally get around to building the girls a bedroom.

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Delphine: “Wait, being predictable? Did Angel get arrested again?”

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Delphine: “Oh okay, I guess not.”

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Don’t look so surprised. Of course your new clothes were the cheapest ones the games has to offer.

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Catrin first, in what I think is a stunning new outfit, if I do say so myself.

Ellery: “Well I don’t. Where’s my pretty clothes?”

Take it up with EA, not me. Catrin’s fourth trait is Loves to Swim, which is so useful in a desert town.

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I couldn’t quite make her style again this time ): She got Night Owl for her trait, which lead to the creation of the beautiful pyjamas.

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On the bright side, I think the gem spawners are actually working now!

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With Justin’s windfall last chapter, Ramona can finally get started on her LTW, so we’ll see what the food generator thing and drink maker do. Should be interesting.

And now I’ve just realised I never explained why we have money now: Justine was a service NPC who wouldn’t stay on the lot longer than five seconds, so I moved him in with Master Controller, and then let Ramona romance him. I didn’t realise he’d bring so much money with him, though, and I’m not turning it down…

Hooray for cheating?

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 Ramona…isn’t good with technology.

Ramona: “Don’t say that! I’m a Computer Science graduate, how could I not be?!”

You haven’t touched anything more technical than a stove for the past thirty years.

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Ramona: “I’d better fix that then.”

This seems to be going a little better- at least she isn’t halfway across the ocean by now.

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Justin and Ramona’s relationship can be summed up in the following three sentences:

Ramona: “Date?”

Justin: “Sure!”

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Justin: “Haha, nope. Just kidding!”

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Ramona: “But I threw a party to show everyone how much I loved you- don’t you care?!”

Justin: “Not when you advertised it on the Internet, I didn’t! You should know I’m a technophobe!”

That’s probably a lie.

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Delphine: “Don’t mind me…just carry on with your torrid love affair while I keep the family afloat.”

Presenting the work of art pyjamas. I’m rather proud of them.

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Are we actually getting somewhere?

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Of course we’re not.

Ramona: “First Tyron won’t leave me alone, now this guy won’t come anywhere near me. Can’t I just get the Master of Seduction perk?”

No, we need those points, and it’s cheating. ):

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Ellery’s the type of kid who just screams for no reason. Wonderful.

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Ah, I’ve been keeping an eye out for this guy! Go talk to him!

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Ramona: “I thought this wasn’t a Berry Sims legacy?”

It’s not, he’s just interesting looking.

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Ramona: “Well, you don’t see me complaining.”

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Ramona: “On second thoughts-“

Red Shirt Guy: “Oh, that’s nice.”

It’s not you, I promise. We can blame Justin for that.

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Beatrice: “Oh great. You made him mad and now there’s no TV. Why do I even bother coming over here?”

Sheila: “…To see your mother? Or your childhood home?”

Beatrice: “Nah. They just feed me.”

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Time for presents!

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Delphine: “I’m sure I can use this confetti for something…”

That’s the spirit.

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Bailey: “Give it to me. My workbench needs redecorating.”

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Catrin: “…So I just get the empty box?”

That or it’s another easel.

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Catrin: “This is all we bother with Christmas for, isn’t it? The presents?”

Ramona: “We’re not supposed to admit that.”

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Girls, please put a coat on. You don’t count towards the challenge unless you live until YA.

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Justin is now on the wall of dubious fame!

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And Ramona has cake for the first time ever thanks to the magical food maker thing. Happy days.

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Another baby and it’s snowing indoors. Wonderful.

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Guys, I think you’re abusing the range of foods you can eat now…

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Catrin: “Oh, don’t be silly. This way we won’t starve or have to live off macaroni and cheese until I’m 18.”

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So does this actually do anything? I think it’s supposed to give a positive moodlet if the drink is their favourite colour, but I can’t tell so far.

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And yes, Ramona now has a Dream Pod! This way she can start levelling up her Advanced Tech skill while she sleeps!

Ramona: “If won’t feed me, though.”

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Ellery’s birthday! At least she isn’t crying.

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Ellery: “So am I stuck like this, or what?”

Go get changed.

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The first Sim I’ve had who can make that hair look good. She’s got Excitable as her third trait, which ironically is very boring.

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But hey, it’s one more person for the en masse snowball fight.

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Still trying for triplets. Ramona’s acquiring an addiction to ten year old soap operas.

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Delphine: “And got stuck with a dog.”

But look how cute he is! His default name was Treble, so I kept it because I couldn’t think of anything better.

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Ramona: “I think all of that TV induced labour…but I can’t get to the hospital, not with all the snow. What do I do?!”

One second…

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Ramona: “I’m in too much pain to question it. Bring on the drugs.”

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Ramona: “Wait, where are we? Wasn’t I in labour?”

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Ramona: “Be honest, Bailey. Did your workbench set something on fire again?”

Bailey: “I never had a workbench, so that can’t be it.”

Boring answer? My User Profile died on me again, and I had these guys saved, thank God, but if I put them back in Strangetown, the neighbourhood would have just reset, and I was planning on moving them anyway. Plus I paid good money for Midnight Hollow, so…

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Del got a new hairstyle because I didn’t like her old one.

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Also this guy, whose name I completely forgot, is the new room mate! It isn’t a career, so I can use it to make money. Plus, that hair…

Gnomes: “Who cares, check out these plants! Those sexy leaves…”

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Joint skilling in an attempt to earn some money and to keep Cat happy. Also hooray for matching cutesy nicknames.

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What’s the big secret, guys?

god this place is so monochrome and the house is a mess

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Delphine: “So, did you make your bed this morning? Because I’m getting really tired of doing it.”

That’s what you had to walk half a mile to talk about?!

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I’m using a lightning mod for this, in case you couldn’t tell, since Midnight Hollow is practically unplayable without one. You can hardly see.

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Still trying for those triplets- maybe a better quality TV will help?

Catrin: “I’m not complaining.”

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Catrin: “Now, before you start, this is a great idea- the insurance people will give us free money when they find out, so it’s all good! We can afford a TV for our room as well!”

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Delphine: “NOT IF IT SETS THE BATHROOM ON FIRE, YOU MORON!”

Ramona: “God, I’m too tired for this.”

Catrin: “IT WORKED, WE GOT A FREE FIRE EXTINGUISHER!”

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Ramona: “Don’t mind me. I’m just destroying this so my idiot of a daughter can’t kill us all again.”

Catrin: “I’m telling you, it’s a great idea.”

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So this is the room mate’s bedroom, decorated with leftover furniture, basic wallpaper, free carpet and unwanted Christmas gifts. What a deal.

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The scaling is really weird in this picture, but look at the water!

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Ramona: “Because this isn’t ominous or anything.”

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The one time this place looks normal, but I wouldn’t want to be going to that high school.

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This was room mate number 2, who I’ve also forgotten the name of. I haven’t decided who to keep yet, but this guy’s making a good cause for himself.

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Ramona: “Oh look, the spawners now work when we have no need for them.”

Sssh, don’t complain.

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Ramona: “I’m a little scared to go inside- what kind of hospital is this?”

A normal one. hopefully

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Twins! And ones with identical colouring, though whether their features are the same remains a mystery…

This is Cody, who is a Friendly Heavy Sleeper, with favourites of R&B, Cheesesteak and the colour red.

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His twin sister is Florence, who despite her Couch Potato and Heavy Sleeper traits, is already terrorising the doll house. Her favourites are Disco, Vegetarian Fish and Chips, and Brown.

I’ll leave it here for now- sorry for the wait! Please comment if you have a sec!

~ Viki.